AirAsia’s Rapid Expansion: How One Budget Airline is Winning Asia

Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia has taken the world by storm since commencing operation in 1996. Over the last decade, the airline has won a considerable amount of business throughout SE Asia and its native Malaysia, winning customers that prefer a low-cost alternative to the high-end fares and expensive airlines that are ubiquitous throughout the region.

What’s most impressive, however, is that the airline has achieved a dominant position within the region’s air travel industry in little more than a decade. AirAsia’s rapid growth is amazing from a business standpoint and from a historical point, with large companies like Malaysia Airlines and well-known Singapore Airlines formerly dominating travel within the airline’s operating region.

Its customer-first strategy has won the airline praise from industry groups, with AirAsia recently named the world’s ‘best low-cost airline’ at the SkyTrax World Airline Awards. Thanks to its slick marketing operations and incredible level of customer loyalty, the airline has achieved a position that’s unique amongst low-cost airlines: few AirAsia customers use other airlines within Asia.

For a low-cost carrier, that’s quite an achievement. While Europe’s low-cost airlines are forced to fight off negative publicity and compete based on price alone, AirAsia has formed a unique spot amongst its competitors as a low-cost airline with immense customer loyalty. During the airline’s recent ‘Mind Blowing Fare’ promotion, over 500,000 tickets were sold during in a single day.

The successful formula has lead to other air travel companies in the region taking notice. Tiger Airways, a low-cost carrier based in neighbouring Singapore, plans to join forced with high-end carrier Thai Airways for a competing service. Given AirAsia’s promotional savvy and incredible level of customer loyalty, the challenge seems like one that could spark a regional air revolution.